We made it on the very last day to the old Mungo Scott Flour Mill, in Summer Hill, while the very last people were moving out. It is only about 10-15 minutes drive from where I live but I have never been before. It is one of those buildings that you see in the distance but don’t actually drive right by.
One friend found that you could go there to sketch, and what with one thing and another, four of us went yesterday. It has rained all week, but as you see from the sky on the sketch of the silos, we had sun and some blue sky.
Just have a look at the photos on this blog. You will see what we will be losing. There is a huge development plan. I hate it when we lose these beautiful old places. Thank goodness for Cockatoo Island and the brickworks at Sydney Park. But who knows what will happen at White Bay Power Station.
After drawing the silos with the purple pen, I decided to sketch these huge reels on the opposing page. I cleverly remembered that it could be a good idea to leave some space to write in my sketchbook for once.
Saturday was the ‘Crane Crawl’ at Cockatoo Island. The weather wasn’t promising but I wanted to go anyway. At Cockatoo Island the sky was dark, so rather than start to sketch and get rained on before I was finished, I went straight to the Industrial Precinct. I’ve only sketched inside there once before and was longing to do it again.
Even while I was doing my first sketch, the rain came down and was hammering on the tin roof. I love sketching these old machines. I wish I knew what they were for. The top one is a bit like the Beam Benders but not as big, and it has a wonky ‘bender,’ if that’s what it is.
For the next machine I chose a red background. I am jumping around in my book of toned paper. I chose a nice industrial brown for the first one, but then I wanted to keep the day’s sketches together as a group. What do you think this machine does? Maybe the wheel at the top lowers the head and it cuts metal between those two wheels. There is a bit of commonality between this and a sewing machine.
My last sketch of the day was this little grouping of a cupboard, some boxes and a thingy. I was running out of time, and chose something without a lot of ellipses.
We got soaked waiting to get on the ferry to go home (all those people disembarking at Cockatoo Island in the pouring rain!) But we had a great day sketching and I wouldn’t have missed it. Can’t wait to go back. All sketches with Lamy Safari pen, and Prismacolour pencil(s) on Canson paper.
As I said yesterday, one shipyard at the end of Rozelle Bay has gone, another seems to be on the way out. Sydney’s maritime history is disappearing before our eyes. When I took these photos there was still work going on, but clearing away had started also. Prime real estate, dontcher know.
This next image is the cabin/wheelhouse of an old ship.
The whole area was full of wonderful old rusted pieces of machinery. A sketcher’s paradise.
We paid two visits there. One was early in the morning to catch the cast shadows.
I have lots of photos. I’ve already used some to make solar plate etchings. I plan to do some paintings also. But now it has all gone, I know however many photos I took, it wasn’t enough.
Finally finally I have started a new sketchbook. I decided to use the one I made with toned paper. I still haven’t decided whether to go through the book consecutively, as I usually do, or whether to choose the colour according to the subject I’m sketching.
We went to Bicentennial Park at the end of Glebe Point Road. The main thing yesterday was to find a cool spot, and we found it under a huge Moreton Bay fig tree right on the point where a cool breeze was blowing. Whatever we sketched, it was going to be a panorama across the water. This area looks out over Rozelle Bay, across to a marina, with the heritage shipyard out of sight off to the left. The tall chimneys in the background are part of the White Bay Power Station. Here is a sketch I did of it from the other side, during an Open Day.
Because of the tall chimneys, I knew a lot of my page would be bare. That made it absolutely perfect for the title page of my new sketchbook, as I will write my name and contact details in the space. So that meant pale grey paper. For that reason I decided to use Prismacolour pencils, although for the major part of the book I plan to use only a black pen and a white Prismacolour pencil.
I included two watercolour paper folios (spreads, in sketching terms) when I made my book, in case I had a situation where I must use watercolours. So, really, it is probably unwise to work consecutively in this book. Let’s see what colour background I use next.
I live five minutes’ walk from King Street. I drew this sitting in a cafe called Citrus. You can see the street view here and if you whirl it around you can even see where I was sitting. It’s an excellent cafe but it replaced a wonderful Greek cake shop many years ago. I was sorry to see it go, but Citrus has been a good replacement. Newtown is a quirky and edgy suburb, only 4km from the centre of Sydney.
The small building in the middle is a Thai restaurant and Newtown has many many thai restaurants. Flight Centre is there to the right, and beyond that is Vintage Cellars, my local bottle shop. On the left hand side is a nicky-nacky giftware shop, a cool hairdresser called ‘Dirty Girl’, and another restaurant.
Right near where I’m sitting is a pub with a big window at the front in the public bar. Opposite that window is an art deco building and a wonderful pink one. Look tempting, don’t they? Some time soon, perhaps in the winter, I’ll be sitting in that window with a glass of wine while I sketch from there.
I’ve started carrying a Blue-grey Derwent watercolour pencil and a yellow ochre one. Instead of doing my preliminary sketch with graphite pencil, this enables me to use my Lamy Safari pen as I don’t have graphite lines to rub out. That ink may be bullet-proof but it doesn’t dry particularly quickly & smears when you rub out within 10 minutes or so. The watercolour pencil lines don’t disappear, but they merge into the sketch a lot better as long as you use warm with warm and cool with cool.
Last weekend on a rainy day our venue for the “Keeping a Sketchbook” class was Hyde Park Barracks Museum. We had hoped to be out and about, but the rain sent us inside. The museum is a great place to sketch. I’ve only been there once before and I was very happy to go back. This sketch is the corridor on the top floor and the hammock room is off to the left. I sat on the floor with my back against the wall to do this one and I was happy to see that the perspective reflects that.
We had just come from the hammock room. Last time I was there, I’d come from sketching on the 2nd floor and I was presented with a view of several pairs of red shoes. My sketching friends were lying in the hammocks sketching the ropes. I wanted to do that, and I also wanted red shoes (I now have two pairs.) So this time we did lie in the hammocks to sketch. Another visitor came and had a lie down too. It’s a great way to spend a wet morning.
Our first stop had been the room with all the convict tools on the wall. It is a huge wall and they are many and varied with wonderful shadows. As it was our week to think about tonal values, they were just perfect. There’s a convenient little ledge to perch on right opposite. I didn’t realise that I’d sketched some of the same tools as last time. Much bigger and quite different. It is always interesting to go back and sketch the same thing again.